Elbow Lake Backpacking Retreat

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While everyone else was hustling, cursing, and scrambling to get to their eclipse location this weekend we were doing exactly the opposite. No people, family, and friends always makes for a great backpacking trip! 

Auden and I have had Elbow Lake on our radar since we found about it last year. With our trout gear just itching for some action this weekend we finally made it happen. Multipurpose trips are always my favorite. Jessie decided to tag along in order to give his recent backpacking setup a much needed "shakedown", and with all of us toting fishing gear and a couple of us camera gear this set out to be a great overnighter. 

We were pretty lazy getting to the trailhead around 11:30am. Right off the bat you're tested with a great little log crossing to get across the river. These used to be Auden's cryptonite, but I think we're officially past that because he did great! The trail itself is about 4.1mi to the lake, and consists of a nice constant incline. Nothing too bad, but enough to make you glad you're there. It looked like a trail crew was up there recently as a fair amount of maintenance was done, but unfortunately there's still quite a bit that needs to happen.

The lake itself is beautiful! It's nestled down into a canyon, and with only a single set of boot tracks that looked even remotely recent we knew people were not going to be something we'd be dealing with. We found a nice camp spot on the east edge of the lake, and were super excited to get all setup so we could get this little fishing derby we had planned underway. The tents got pitched, lunch got shoveled down, and with rods in hand we headed down to the lake. 

Now I don't how that little butt does it, but Auden proceeded to absolutely destroy us landing not only the biggest fish, but the TWO biggest fish. Over the course of the evening we landed four beautiful keepers that we cooked up at dinner. Yumm!!! 

After a nice dinner, and a game of cards we headed off to bed... for now. Jessie and I got back up at 1am to see if any of the haze from the day had cleared for some Milky Way shots. I wasn't overly impressed, and thought I was just throwing together a couple shots. Honestly, I didn't think I'd come away with much so after an hour we headed back to bed. 

I was up at 5am to check the sunrise, but because this beautiful little lake is nestled in such a deep canyon there really isn't any good lighting for a sunrise. I quickly retreated back to bed, and we all slept in until 7:30am. 

After we had some breakfast and got camp all packed up we gave fishing a shot again, but they just weren't biting that morning. Maybe at this point they'd had enough of the little boy that has one volume level (really freaking loud), lol. With an uneventful hike back to the car we called this trip a great success. We caught some trout. We took some great pictures. We shared some great memories. We did it all without seeing another single soul. Woot!